- What is the Instant Book Airbnb feature?
- Why should you opt for it?
- What are the cons of using it?
- How to handle Instant Book Airbnb?
- What are some FAQs about Instant book Airbnb feature?
The Airbnb platform has introduced many new features and tweaked the ones that are already in place to ensure maximum ease and proficiency of its customers and hosts over the years. These new features have helped the platform and the Airbnb hosts in attracting new customers and in gaining their trust. They have also proved beneficial for the customers as they have offered them a level of flexibility and comfort that is unrivaled by any other platform. The Instant book Airbnb is one such handy feature offered by Airbnb. We will discuss more about it and its usefulness to get a better understanding of this factor in our next section.
So, what is the Instant Book Airbnb feature?
The Instant book Airbnb or what many other people commonly call the Instant book is a feature that is offered by the Airbnb platform to eliminate the hassle of the booking process. This feature, when enabled by the host, permits the customer to book the property automatically. Because of it, the customers don’t need to seek the approval of the host to finalize their bookings. The guests now can directly enter their traveling dates, make the bookings, and discuss the check-in plans with the Airbnb host or the manager of the property. Simple!
The Instant book Airbnb thus reduces the hassle of both the parties, which converts into an easy booking process for the travelers and more bookings for the Airbnb host. Hence, a good deal for both the involved parties.
Why should you opt for it?
There are various pros of using Instant book Airbnb. The main reasons because of which you should consider giving it a chance, include-
Airbnb mentions on its official website that using Instant Airbnb Book feature can increase the number of your bookings by two folds. Now, of course, there is no sure way to confirm it, and so we will need to rely upon logic to assess the truth of this statement. So, how can Instant book Airbnb increase bookings?
One way this could happen is, when people are looking for rentals on Airbnb, they might feel more inclined to choose a listing that won’t require them to wait for the approval of the host. Thus, the ease of booking and less wasted time for the customers is an incentive that can double the bookings.
Also, when looking for a property on the Airbnb platform, people spend a lot of time using the instant book filter. Thus, if your property is not using the Instant book Airbnb feature, then you won’t get a chance to appear in their search results. This, of course, translates into fewer bookings for you.
So, based on these reasons one could assume that the claim by Airbnb that Instant book Airbnb increases the bookings by two folds has some truth to it.
Ease for the host
An Airbnb host has many tasks that require his attention. Thus, by using the Instant book Airbnb feature, you won’t have to check your account and prepare a reply every time you receive a request from a customer. Instead, this way, your customers will get automatic bookings. Doing so will save you some time that you can use in some useful other activities like in planning your business expansion.
If you have been working as an Airbnb host for long, then you would know that one of the factors based on which Airbnb determines your search rank is the ‘ease of booking.’ Now, even though Airbnb nowhere mentions that Instant Book Airbnb has anything to do with your rankings, Airbnb search algorithm might be using this factor in allocating ranks. Thus, to increase your rankings, you should use this feature. Doing so will improve your visibility for good.
Using the Instant book Airbnb feature means more bookings at your place. Other than the economic benefits, this also means more reviews for you. Now, the more reviews that you get on your property, the better are your chances of doing well on the Airbnb search rankings. Plus, more reviews also mean more incentive for the customers to trust you.
What are the cons of using it?
Using the Instant Book Airbnb raises some concerns for both the involved parties. These include the following:
You don’t get a chance to screen guests
If you are a host at the Airbnb platform and you are using the Instant book Airbnb feature, then you may have to deal with the issue of not getting the chance to review a guest before they book your property. It can be an uncomfortable scenario for some hosts. Plus, there is always a chance that the guest who makes the booking using this feature turns out to be challenging.
So, in order to offer the hosts some comfort regarding this situation, Airbnb has enabled them to set certain conditions in the instant booking option. Firstly, all the guests are required to have confirmed phone numbers, email addresses, profile photos, and payment information before making bookings. Additionally, the hosts can also set the condition that the guests must offer a government ID at the time of booking and have to be recommended by another host at least once. This way, you won’t have to offer your property to just about anyone who has an account on Airbnb.
Another con of instant booking is that sometimes hosts complain about not getting enough time to prepare the house before the arrival of guests. Now, to correct this, the Airbnb platform has come up with the option to let the hosts select an advance notice period. The options in this category are from the same day (in which you can set a cut off-hour) up to seven days.
We would recommend you to select a 3 or 4 days advance notice period because it gives you enough time to contact the guest to know more about their traveling plans and preferences. Moreover, if you feel uncomfortable after talking with the guest, then this time frame is enough for you to decide if you want to cancel their booking penalty-free.
Prefer longer stays
Some people who are using their home as rental property may prefer a certain length of stay. So, in case there is a two-day booking that is blocking a one month stay of some other guests, then you may find it unattractive. Now, since the calendar-related problems do not cut it for penalty-free cancellations, therefore, for some hosts using the Instant book Airbnb is a troublesome prospect.
For some people who manage the properties full time and who do not prefer hiring help for cleaning or handling check-in tasks, using the Instant book Airbnb feature can present some problems. So, for example, consider you are managing a property, and you rely on instant bookings for handling reservations. Now, in case your system automatically booked back-to-back bookings of customers, then this can become a little too much for you to handle.
How to handle Instant Book Airbnb?
It is quite understandable if using the Instant Book Airbnb feature is making you somewhat nervous as a host. Hence, to help you with better handling this situation, we have prepared a list of tips that you might want to use.
When you are dealing with unknown customers, it is quite normal to feel uncomfortable. Hence, a good solution at this step would be to establish a dialogue with your guests in an attempt to know their preferences better. This will also give you an idea about the kind of people who are going to stay at your place shortly.
So, for example, if you have registered a new booking via Instant book Airbnb, then maybe you should mail your customers enquiring about the time when they will be reaching. You can also ask them if or not they have checked the house rules, and probe about their vacation plans. This way, in case you do not get a good vibe from them, then you can opt for penalty-free cancellation.
Setup the stay length
If you are using the Instant book Airbnb feature, then we will recommend you to establish a minimum and maximum duration of the visit. This filter is very important as it helps you in setting up some ground rules. If you have set your minimum stay period to two or three night-stays requirement, then this will help you in driving away the party enthusiasts who want to rent a place for only one night of party. On the other hand, with the maximum stay policy, you can ensure that no one stays at your place for too long if you aren’t comfortable with it.
Establish a notice period
In order to ensure that everything is in place and your property is ready to accommodate new guests, we feel that you should establish at least one day of the notice period. Doing so will help you in avoiding same day bookings on Instant book Airbnb, and you will get some time to clean and prime up your place. Hence, make sure you use this filter as it will automatically block the right days on your calendar.
Use additional requirement option
Airbnb tries its best to offer its hosts security and a sense of comfort. However, it is usually a good idea to take extra precautions to make sure that everything is right. For this, we will recommend you to use the additional requirement option that is offered with the Instant book Airbnb feature. This way, you can demand to only rent your place to customers who have submitted their government-issued ID to the Airbnb platform, and just accept the guests who have been at least once recommended by some other Airbnb host.
Cancel reservation if unsatisfied
It is not necessary to put up with the bookings even if you are uneasy or in doubt about the guests who are coming to stay at your place. For such cases, Airbnb offers the hosts the option to cancel the bookings even if the reservations are made using the Instant book Airbnb feature. This allows the host a better control over who is going to rent his place. This should offer them some comfort and peace of mind.
What are some FAQs about Instant book Airbnb feature?
Is there a way to cancel the instant bookings without paying the penalty?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is yes, you can cancel instant bookings penalty-free if you have valid reasons for doing so that does not violate Airbnb’s non-discriminatory policy. These reasons can include causes that led you to believe that the guest is unreliable. Also, in case the guest keeps ditching your mails and avoids replying to you, or in their reply, they mention that they are going to break your house rules by bringing in a pet (when your house rules forbid this), then based on such reasons you can terminate their booking penalty-free.
Why does Airbnb promote the Instant Airbnb book feature?
Airbnb promotes instant bookings and boosts the search rankings of hosts who turn this feature on because the feature is attractive for customers. A lot of times, travelers make instant plans. Hence, they prefer using a platform that can offer them instant bookings. So, providing this feature on the Airbnb platform means increased business. This in turn converts into more profits.
Hence, instant book Airbnb is a unique feature offered by the Airbnb platform that is set up for the convenience of both the guest and the host. Using this feature reduces the hassle for both the parties while at the same time it converts into more bookings. Thus, we would like to recommend all the Airbnb hosts to give this feature a try at least once. We are sure that with time, you will develop a liking for it.
While at it, you may also want to give Hosty’s Airbnb Automation feature a try. Just like the instant booking option that reduces your hassle and decreases your workload, Hosty’s automation tool also helps you in automating your work. With it, your guests automatically receive all the important messages and information and your many other tasks get completed automatically. Now, if you are interested in Airbnb management software and you want to learn more about it.